Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Bean, Jonathan


This paper explores the environmental policies and practices of the U. S. Department of Defense (DoD) from the late 1950s until the mid 1990s in relation to the views and attitudes of the American people. While by no means a comprehensive examination of the military and each of the branches, this paper covers the general attitudes and rationales of the DoD as a whole. The time frame covered deviates from more obvious choices, such as "since World War II" or a specific decade, intentionally. Cutting off 15 or so years from each end could situate this work as the middle of a three -volume set for a number of reasons. For the starting time, nearly a generation passed since World War II. This allowed adequate time for the younger populace to play a role in the decisionmaking process. This also allowed for a beginning just prior to Sikes Act and America's renewed interest in the environment. At the other end, the terminus follows the end of the Cold War and two rounds of military downsizing. This set up a time of not only preventing environmental harm in the future, but also digging in and cleaning past harm for the future. As such, this leaves ample room for future work to concentrate on the time periods omitted here. The chapters cover the topic by decade with extra emphasis given to weather modification, which spanned multiple decades in such a manner thatcould not be effectively covered broken apart. For the latter decades, the focus follows more closely to Presidential Administrations. This method could not be fully utilized during the preceding discussion, in part due to the unique and revolutionary nature of the overall upheaval of the 1960s. The information included in the appendices provides a more detailed look into the ideas of the American people, which could not be included in the body of the text without detracting from the flow and readability. The appendices include a chapter on the public's responses to the General Social Surveys administered from 1972 to 1991. The questions examined have been grouped biennially in sequential even and odd years.




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